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Boston College Baseball Wins Opening Series Against Northern Illinois

Boston College baseball got out to a hot start in the 2020 season, taking 3 of 4 games from Northern Illinois in Winter Haven, Florida.

The Eagles bats set the tone in game one. Sal Frelick led off the bottom of the first with a double, followed immediately by a Brian Dempsey two-run homer. Cody Morissette then singled, Joe Suozzi tripled him home, and Jack Cunningham singled Suozzi in, good for four runs before the Huskies could record an out.

Working with an ample cushion from his offense, ace Mason Pelio put together a quality start in his first outing of the year, holding NIU to two runs on five hits over five innings. Michael Marzonie and Nick Couhig each contributed two innings of scoreless relief.

Dempsey made it a four RBI day with a two-run single in the 7th, and freshman Luke Gold knocked in the first run of his career in the 8th, capping a 7-2 victory.

The two teams exchanged haymakers in a wild game two that featured a combined 21 runs on 18 hits. The Huskies jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but BC plated five runs in the bottom of the second on a Gold three-run homer, an RBI double by Dante Baldelli, and a Dempsey RBI single.

Northern Illinois then took advantage of four walks and an error in the top of the third, scoring two runs to tie it 5-5. Lucas Stalman put the Eagles ahead with a sac fly in the fifth, and Baldelli drove in another run to put BC up 7-5.

Trailing 8-6 entering the 9th, the Huskies again capitalized on walks. Reliever Will Hesslink allowed 4 earned runs on a hit and three walks in two thirds of an inning, and NIU grabbed a 10-8 lead. But the Eagles weren’t done. Consecutive hits by Suozzi and Cunningham, and a walk to Stalman, loaded the bases in the bottom of the 9th. Peter Burns drew a walk to make it 10-9, a Baldelli fielder’s choice knotted it at 10, and Sal Frelick poked a walk-off single for the 11-10 comeback win.

Down 2-1 in the second game of Saturday’s double header, catcher Aaron Soucy homered in the 2nd to tie the score at two, Dempsey’s second sac fly of the first two innings then put BC ahead.

A Huskies two-run home run in the 5th tied the score at 5, but RBI singles by Morissette in the 6th, Stalman in the 7th, and Suozzi in the 8th gave Boston College a 8-5 win. Frelick paced the Eagles from the lead off spot, finishing 2 for 2 with 3 walks, a stolen base, and 4 runs scored.

Starter Joe Mancini allowed 5 runs in 4 innings, but the bullpen kept the Huskies off the board the rest of the way. Freshman Brian McMonagle pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to earn the save, and fellow freshman Jon Campbell got the win in 1.2 relief innings.

It was all Northern Illinois in the fourth game of the series. The Huskies battered Emmet Sheehan for five runs on five hits and six walks over the first two and two thirds innings. All told, NIU out hit BC 15-6, and cruised to a 12-3 win.

What’s next: The Eagles head west to Tempe for a three game set with Arizona State beginning Friday.